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Although otoplasty is one of the simpler procedures and rarely requires alterations, revision otoplasty may be necessary for any number of reasons after the original surgery. The final results of the original surgery usually appear within a few months of the procedure; revision otoplasty may be necessary on one or both ears to reduce scarring, remove additional tissue or improve the symmetry of the ears. While revision otoplasty is somewhat rare, a successful procedure requires a high level of skill and experience.
The main complication involved in a revision otoplasty is the buildup of scar tissue from the original procedure. Another factor that can make revision otoplasty more complicated is the common shifting of anatomical landmarks due to the first surgery. The original cartilage may be displaced or altered, and during a revision otoplasty the surgeon might have to reconstruct certain features of the ear damaged during the initial surgery.
Most doctors will not schedule a revision otoplasty until they are sure that the results of the original surgery are final. Some patients will have the same surgeon for their revision otoplasty as for the first procedure, while others prefer to have a different physician perform the revision otoplasty, especially if they were unhappy with the results of the first surgery. The methods used during a revision otoplasty are the same as for the original surgery, and the recovery period is similar as well.
Patients who are looking for a surgeon to perform their revision otoplasty may end up needing to travel to another city or state. Much of the initial consultation work for a revision otoplasty can be performed over the phone and the Internet. Emailed pictures and specific questions regarding the revision otoplasty can help the surgeon get a better idea of what the patient has in mind and what went wrong that a revision otoplasty is being considered. In some rare situations, a revision otoplasty is not a good choice for the patient, or the patient may have a problem that a revision otoplasty would not be able to resolve.